Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, New York
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that checking the menace of corruption would free major sources of funding for developmental programmes and projects for African economies.
He stated this Friday, at a High-Level Roundtable on Corruption, Migration, Bridging Africa’s Infrastructural Gap for Sustainable Development organised by NEPAD/APRM Nigeria on the margins of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly, in New York.
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The President expressed regret that huge amounts of funds are still being squirreled out of the continent.
“It is still worrisome considering that billions of dollars, great talents and professionals are continually drained out of the continent through various corrupt activities thus causing poor investment inflows, undermining the rule of law, stifling trade, worsening macro-economic conditions and escalating level of poverty in our countries.
“These detestable practices are being perpetrated by some international collaborators hiding in secret jurisdictions.”
President Buhari, however, expressed delight that “efforts are being made by African leaders to ensure greater transparency and accountability in government business, fostering regional integration as well as creating enabling environment for our youth,” stressing that “these efforts will remain unabated, as African leaders will remain unrelenting.”
He added, “We must adopt laws, regulations and policies that encourage transparent financial transactions, youth and women’s empowerment programmes as well as establishing good infrastructural links among member states towards sanitising the continent of these ills.”
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Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said President Buhari described the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as a strategic framework document designed for the “socio-economic development of Africa and a policy framework to address our economic and social challenges.”
The President implored his colleagues to: eradicate poverty; place African countries on a path of sustainable growth and development; halt the marginalization of Africa in the globalisation process; enhance its full and beneficial integration into the global economy and; accelerate the empowerment of women and youth.
Calling the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) a flagship programme of NEPAD and a specialised Agency within the AU structure, the President noted that it is mainly “a self-monitoring and assessment tool for peer learning and enthronement of good governance on the continent.”
He reminded his colleagues “that Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the African continent over the next 50 years with a strong mandate on NEPAD and APRM,” he urged them to “build on and seek the acceleration of the implementation of past and present continental initiatives for our growth and sustainable development.”
Saying that he looked forward to the conclusions of the conference, the Nigerian leader assured the gathering that, “African leaders are totally committed to delivering these developmental goals, namely, AU Agenda 2063 and 2030 SDGs in order to keep up with the international economic development.”